I don’t suppose many people know of the Carey Island Sports Club. In fact I don’t suppose many people living in Malaysia know about the place.
One of the reasons for doing this roadtrip was so that I could talk about these very golf courses -the ones that don’t get an publicity but should. Golf courses that I feel give the game a good image. Golf courses that could inspire us all to look at how we do things – maybe slightly differently – moving forward.
The Carey Island Sports Club has 18 holes but it’s the first nine (the original 9 holes) that interest me the most. The 2nd nine holes came much later on and to be honest are of little relevance to me or my trip. Not far from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and maybe an hours drive out of the CBD you will find the golf club which is also located in palm garden groves and sometimes jungle. The land itself belongs to the Sime Darby group.
The original 9 holes is nestled on approx 10ha (approx 24 acres) which is small obviously. However in an age where land and water resources are becoming more scarce you have to think that future golf courses will need to glide over less land. Of course short courses cost less in every way including the cost of construction and maintenance (and the amount of money you need to outlay for the land). The wonderful thing about cramming 9 holes into a short parcel of land is that the designer has to get creative (vs design the bog standard we are getting used too today).
The clubhouse structure is a master piece – charming and characterful – and you cant help but feel seduced (indeed this is a far cry from some of our modern dollops).
You know you are in for a treat at the start when on the first hole (a borderline Par 3 / Par 4 ) you are asked to navigate over a pond, canal, road and fence before making it onto the putting surface (which is all but about 350m2). How refreshing to play a hole that does conform to any guideline nor look like something we see all too often today on our modern courses. Yes it may be different but this in so many ways makes it fun and interesting and calls for a bit of golf creativity and imagination. I wont go into detail (and you can get a feel for the golf course after having read the train of pictures) but there is all sorts of skulduggery on display including crossing holes, holes over roads and fences, garden etc. What an adventure that is all but done in an hour or so.
See video of my day at Carey Island Sports Club here: https://youtu.be/MubvjhGVI1k